When Big Brands Stopped Spending On Digital Ads, Nothing Happened. Why?

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This weekend Forbes ran a thought-provoking article by “a digital marketer of 25 years” who now helps marketers audit their digital campaigns for ad fraud:

When P&G turned off $200 million of their digital ad spending, they saw NO CHANGE in business outcomes. When Chase reduced their programmatic reach from 400,000 sites showing its ads to 5,000 sites (a 99% decrease), they saw NO CHANGE in business outcomes. When Uber turned off $120 million of their digital ad spending meant to drive more app installs, they saw NO CHANGE in the rate of app installs. When big brands stopped spending on digital ads, nothing happened. Even further back in time, in 2012, eBay turned off their paid search ad spending, and saw NO CHANGE in sales coming from those sources

Big brands turned off millions of dollars of digital ad spending, and saw no change in business outcomes. Small businesses tuned their digital marketing and reduced the number of ad impressions, clicks, and traffic to their sites, but saw business activity go up, instead of down. Much of the problem with digital advertising today stems from marketers’ obsession with big numbers. But big numbers of ads and clicks do not translate into more business activity and sales. They are just large numbers in dashboards and spreadsheets. Marketers could be spending far fewer dollars and getting the same levels of business outcomes; or spending the dollars more smartly in digital and getting even more business outcomes than they are now.

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